(Application no. 6855/02)
26 October 2006
This judgment will become final in the circumstances set out in Article 44 § 2 of the Convention. It may be subject to editorial revision.
In the case of Novina v. Slovenia,
The European Court of Human Rights (Third Section), sitting as a Chamber composed of:
Mr J. Hedigan, President,
Mr B.M. Zupančič,
Mr C. Bîrsan,
Mrs A. Gyulumyan,
Mr E. Myjer,
Mr David Thór Björgvinsson,
Mrs I. Berro-Lefevre, judges,
and Mr V. Berger, Section Registrar,
Having deliberated in private on 5 October 2006,
Delivers the following judgment, which was adopted on that date:
Between 10 October 1996 and 12 January 2000 the applicant lodged nine preliminary written submissions and adduced evidence.
On 5 November 1996 and 9 September 1998 he requested that a date be set for a hearing.
Of the three hearings held between 22 January 1998 and 3 February 2000 none was adjourned at the request of the applicant.
During the proceedings the court appointed orthopaedic and neurology experts. The experts were given a delay of thirty days to deliver their respective opinions, counting from the day the case-file was served on them. The first expert delivered his opinion in five months and the second expert in over three months. The court also sought an additional opinion from the appointed orthopaedist.
At the last hearing the court decided to deliver a written judgment. The judgment, upholding the applicant's claim in part, was served on the applicant on 23 March 2000.
On 23 November 2000 the court dismissed the applicant's appeal.
The judgment was served on the applicant on 12 December 2000.
On 29 November 2001 the court allowed the applicant's appeal, set aside the judgments of the first- and second-instance courts and remitted the case for re-examination.
The decision was served on the applicant on 8 January 2002.
Of the four hearings held between 28 March 2002 and 15 May 2003 none was adjourned at the request of the applicant. However, two scheduled hearings were postponed to a later date at the request of the applicant. At least one of them was postponed because the applicant's lawyers were on holidays.
During the proceedings the court appointed a medical expert and gave him a delay of thirty days to deliver his opinion. The opinion was delivered in over two months. The court also took testimonies from the two experts appointed in the first proceedings before the first-instance court.
At the last hearing the court decided to deliver a written judgment. The judgment, upholding the applicant's claim in part, was served on the applicant on 5 September 2003.
On 8 June 2005 the court allowed the applicant's appeal in part, dismissed ZT's appeal and increased the damages awarded.
The judgment was served on the applicant on 23 May 2005.
On 1 December 2005 the court rejected the applicant's appeal on points of law as not allowed. The decision was served on the applicant on 29 December 2005.
I. ALLEGED VIOLATION OF ARTICLES 6 § 1 AND 13 OF THE CONVENTION
“In the determination of his civil rights and obligations ..., everyone is entitled to a ... hearing within a reasonable time by [a] ... tribunal...”
“Everyone whose rights and freedoms as set forth in [the] Convention are violated shall have an effective remedy before a national authority notwithstanding that the violation has been committed by persons acting in an official capacity.”
1. Article 6 § 1
There has accordingly been a breach of Article 6 § 1.
2. Article 13
II. APPLICATION OF ARTICLE 41 OF THE CONVENTION
“If the Court finds that there has been a violation of the Convention or the Protocols thereto, and if the internal law of the High Contracting Party concerned allows only partial reparation to be made, the Court shall, if necessary, afford just satisfaction to the injured party.”
B. Costs and expenses
C. Default interest
FOR THESE REASONS, THE COURT UNANIMOUSLY
(a) that the respondent State is to pay the applicant, within three months from the date on which the judgment becomes final in accordance with Article 44 § 2 of the Convention, EUR 2,000 (two thousand euros) in respect of non-pecuniary damage and EUR 1,000 (one thousand euros) in respect of costs and expenses, plus any tax that may be chargeable;
(b) that from the expiry of the above-mentioned three months until settlement simple interest shall be payable on the above amounts at a rate equal to the marginal lending rate of the European Central Bank during the default period plus three percentage points;
Done in English, and notified in writing on 26 October 2006, pursuant to Rule 77 §§ 2 and 3 of the Rules of Court.
Berger John Hedigan